Tuesday, 16 March 2010

The Black Book

Instruction Manuel - All You Need To Know

I came across my old instruction manuel which was issued when I joined the job, whilst having a spring clear out . For the first two years I had to study it for my probationer training and had to insert the updates that were dispatched from training centre.

It is full of common sense paragraphs so indulge me producing a couple here and wondering where it all went wrong.

Here I produce 3 paragraphs from the first page

Objects of Police

"The primary object of an efficient police is the prevention of crime: the next that of detection and punishment of offenders if crime is committed. To these ends all the efforts of police must be directed. The protection of life and property, the preservation of public tranquility, and the absence of crime, will alone prove whether those efforts have been successful and whether the objects for which the police were appointed have been attained." (Sir Richard Mayne 1829)

Attitude To Public

In attaining these objects, much depends on the approval and co-operation of the public, and these have always been determined by the degree of esteem and respect in which the police are held. Therefore every member of the Force must remember that it is his duty to protect and help members of the public, no less than to bring offenders to justice. Consequently, while prompt to prevent crime and arrest criminals, he must look on himself as the servant and guardian of the general public and treat all law abiding citizens, irrespective of their race, colour, creed or social position, with unfailing patience and courtesy.

Tact and Good Humour

By the use of tact and good humour the public can normally be induced to comply with directions and thus the necessity for using force, with its possible public disapproval, is avoided. He who in this way secures the object he has in view is a more useful police officer than his comrade who, relying too much on the assertion of his authority, runs the risk of seeing that authority challenged and possibly, for the time being, overborne. If, however, persuasion, advice or warning is found to be ineffective, a resort to force may become necessary, as it is imperative that a police officer being required to take action shall act with the firmness necessary to render it effective.

No doubt the police service of today would be turning somersaults over the political incorrectness of those words. I joined a police force and those words still mean more to me than the mission statements and dross bandied about today. We used to treat all law abiding citizens with unfailing courtesy and patience and pursued the wrongdoer, who appeared to have been excluded from the definition general public. They were criminals and were treated as such NOT victim's to be pitied and excused from feeding on the weak and vulnerable.

Sometimes I wish I was back policing the same way I could before - it was simple and worked. Of course some things had to change but even a Force more representative of the community at large could have maintained the same values as set out above. You were allowed to be an individual and seek your own solutions to reach the objects as outlined.

2010 - policing is micro managed and any creativity crushed by central control who appear to want robotic responses in line with their latest Standard Operating Procedure. Sir Richard Mayne what would you say today?


MTG said...

There are few powers in the hands of men to rival simple sense harnessed to public good.

Anonymous said...

Tact and Good Humour!!

Dandelion said...

It is a false distinction, since ALL people are MoPs until convicted by a jury of their peers. This, by definition, includes during any contact with the police. Innocent until PROVEN guilty. The police do not have the power to make that judgement, otherwise we wouldn't bother with the courts, would we?

Stressed Out Cop said...

So what about the proven guilty criminals?

Metcountymounty said...

What about the people who have been proven guilty time and again and who continue to commit crime after? They are criminals, not innocent members of the public deserving of a second chance or unending patience. Even if they haven't been found guilty yet of the particular crime that they've been accused off, if they have previously been found guilty then they are criminals.

I would love to have considerably more dealings with normal members of the public, but the fact is we deal predominantly with criminals, victims and the other emergency services. The rare time I do get to speak to someone who has never been arrested or in trouble with the police is usually from a traffic stop or when I'm out on foot in between going to/from calls.

Metcountymounty said...

SoC - that's just spooky dude. Spooky.

Stressed Out Cop said...


Same thoughts . same time .. strange universe this !

Stressed Out Cop said...

Double Spooky

Area Trace No Search said...

I had the same thought too - I'm just a lot slower.
It's the beer. Or something.

Dandelion said...

If they've been convicted and done their time, they're MoPs. If you think they're guilty of another crime, they're still innocent of it until proven otherwise.

Undermines policing when police think they're judge and jury.

Area Trace No Search said...

So Dandelion, what you appear to be saying is that there is no such thing as "Criminals." Either suspected or
convicted they're just an MOP.

What a wonderful part of the country you must live in! There are most definitely criminals where I live unfortunately.

Blue Eyes said...

I think what Dandelion is saying is that when out and about you should forget everything you think you know about the area and the people in it. Don't remember that A Street is where a lot of drug dealing happens, forget that W has a history of violence towards his partner when you go to a call at their house. You must ignore the fact that gangs on particular estates wearing particular colours have been known to carry knives and to attack vulnerable people.

Unless I have misunderstood.

Hogday said...

Dandelion: The book is indeed fallible and must be used wisely and interpreted as such. Ch. 78 used to instruct us thus: "If a constable wishes to stop a runaway horse, he should, if practicable, run in the same direction as the horse, grasp the reins or halter and with a few short jerks, endeavour to check the speed of the runaway".
I followed that book like it was the holy bible, but for the life of me I could never find a short jerk when I needed one.

Dave the Dog said...


Thanks. My ribcage needed exercising! ;o)

Oi said...

but for the life of me I could never find a short jerk when I needed one.

Dunno. I was finding them right up to the day of my retirement - normally wore epualettes with pips or crowns on

Stressed Out Cop said...

Mr Hogday .. You make me smile after a shit shift at work.

Ch 38 para 72 Rabbits

It is an offence knowingly to use or permit a a rabbite infected with myxomotosis to spread the disease among uninfected rabbits (s 12 Pests Act 1954). Any offence coming to notice should be fully reported.

Anonymous said...

Swingeing powers available to police under the Badgers Act, too.

Hogday said...

Not to mention how to recognise the following nasty animal diseases; Glanders, Farcy, Sheep Scap, Fowl Pest and my personal favourite, Epizo-otic Lymphangitis. The public simply have no bloody idea what responsibilities were foisted upon us. I never slept properly for years worrying about the burden.

TonyF said...

Our local bobby had a delightful job. Annually he had to go around all the farms and sign the animal movements registers.

Hogday said...

TonyF: Yes. You couldn't move a piggy without a licence and it all depended on factors such as what they were being fed. I also had a quarantine kennels and was sent a wad of pink forms I had to check off with them. I got to know a wonderful Rhodesian Ridgeback named `Petal`. Quarantined dogs were far more memorable than the members of the local `hunt`.

Merlin said...

Yep. That book seems to sum up the "take" on policing that set us apart from the continental models of law enforcement and which were, in the opinion of many (sorry - too lazy to look up and give references - just got in from work)a MAJOR factor in making our society function until things started going pear-shaped.

And the most depressing thing is that the wisdom contained in that book is hardly rucking focket science. What on earth is wrong with keeping to principles that are self-evident & actually work?